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David Leavitt

Author of The Lost Language of Cranes

62+ Works 7,948 Members 141 Reviews 15 Favorited

About the Author

David Leavitt's first collection of stories, "Family Dancing," was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award & the PEN/Faulkner Prize. "The Lost Language of Cranes" was made into a BBC film, & "While England Sleeps" was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize. Leavitt show more is also the author of "Equal Affections," "A Place I've Never Been," "Arkansas," & "The Page Turner." With Mark Mitchell, he coedited "The Penguin Book of Short Stories" & "The Pages Passed from Hand to Hand" & cowrote "Italian Pleasures." He is recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation & the National Endowment for the Arts. He divides his time between Italy and Florida. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Tanya Tribble

Works by David Leavitt

The Lost Language of Cranes (1986) 1,270 copies
The Indian Clerk (2007) 749 copies
Family Dancing (1983) 678 copies
While England Sleeps (1993) 602 copies
Equal Affections (1989) 537 copies
Arkansas: Three Novellas (1997) 438 copies
A Place I've Never Been (1990) 434 copies
The Page Turner (1998) 405 copies
The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories (1994) — Editor — 308 copies
Florence : a Delicate Case (2000) 260 copies
The Marble Quilt (2001) 142 copies
Collected Stories (2003) 115 copies
Shelter in Place (2020) 81 copies
Italian Pleasures (1996) 77 copies
The New Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories (2003) — Editor — 33 copies
Il decoro (2020) 5 copies
Saturn Street (1996) 3 copies
Territory 2 copies

Associated Works

Maurice (1971) — Introduction, some editions — 4,063 copies
The Oxford Book of American Short Stories (1992) — Contributor — 730 copies
The Granta Book of the American Short Story (1992) — Contributor — 360 copies
The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction (1992) — Contributor — 318 copies
The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books (1997) — Contributor — 294 copies
Apartment in Athens (1945) — Introduction, some editions — 265 copies
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves (2012) — Contributor — 252 copies
Men on Men 2: Best New Gay Fiction (1988) — Contributor — 203 copies
The Penguin Book of International Gay Writing (1995) — Introduction — 175 copies
20 Under 30 (1986) — Contributor — 90 copies
First Love/Last Love (1985) — Contributor — 85 copies
Man of My Dreams: Provocative Writing on Men Loving Men (1996) — Contributor — 75 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 (2018) — Contributor — 66 copies
The Literary Lover: Great Stories of Passion and Romance (1993) — Contributor — 50 copies
Bestial Noise: The Tin House Fiction Reader (2003) — Contributor — 49 copies
Circa 2000: Gay Fiction at the Millennium (2000) — Contributor — 41 copies
Something Inside: Conversations with Gay Fiction Writers (1999) — Contributor — 33 copies
Food of Love [2002 film] (2002) — Original book — 26 copies
Latter-Gay Saints: An Anthology of Gay Mormon Fiction (2013) — Contributor — 8 copies
Reasons to Believe: New Voices in American Fiction (1988) — Contributor — 7 copies
Godenzonen : verhalen over mannen (1999) — Contributor — 6 copies


20th century (163) American (94) American literature (163) anthology (468) biography (144) books (77) books about books (107) British (87) British literature (70) classic (76) classics (93) England (110) English literature (92) essays (111) family (63) fiction (2,043) gay (754) gay fiction (253) gay men (110) glbt (77) historical fiction (113) history (77) homosexuality (184) Italy (65) lgbt (207) LGBTQ (109) literature (275) math (101) non-fiction (240) novel (270) queer (136) read (116) romance (79) short stories (723) stories (63) to-read (597) travel (131) unread (76) writing (153) WWII (76)

Common Knowledge



An enjoyable read, but nothing fantastic. It's sparked my interest in reading the biography of Ramanujan[b:The Man Who Knew Infinity|106139|The Man Who Knew Infinity|Robert Kanigel|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171562988s/106139.jpg|1031423]
lschiff | 29 other reviews | Sep 24, 2023 |
Most of the stories in A place I've never been are tediously long and dragging. Although in most of these stories the main character is gay or lesbian, it feels as if the author tries to avoid foregrounding this. Given the fact that these short stories are very long, they do not present enough action of fascination to keep you interested.
edwinbcn | 1 other review | Aug 9, 2023 |
David Leavitt can't write. His sentences are ugly, his paragraphs even more so, and the hundred or so pages of this book that I read seemed to indicate that his structure is pretty awful too. The characters are unmotivated and unpleasant. The greatest problem, though, is that clearly none of it ever happened. The adjectives and adverbs are just put in for decoration, not to share with you what the protagonist really experienced. In one scene a delivery boy rings the bell and for some reason stands there "sheepishly" while he receives his money. It's like he has an alarm that rings every hundred words and he has to pop a descriptive word in; they're like speed bumps that prevent you from getting up any momentum in the novel.… (more)
robfwalter | 5 other reviews | Jul 31, 2023 |
I always find it hard to review a two-star book, because the inevitable question is 'well why did you read it?' I read this because it was sort of hinted to me that Leavitt is a kind of American Alan Hollinghurst. However, his writing lacks the grace and style of Hollinghurst, and his characters lack the depth and complexity.

Essentially this is a book about miserable people written in lifeless prose. As a contrast, I'm reading Howard Jacobson at the moment, who writes about miserable people with sparkling, witty prose and it makes all the difference.

I did wonder as I read it if this book has just aged badly, and that at the time of writing it could get away with its dead prose and maudlin world view because it had political currency. However, there are many positive reviews on here, so I guess it just didn't provide that specific thing that separates my taste from that of many others.
… (more)
robfwalter | 22 other reviews | Jul 31, 2023 |



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David Plante Contributor
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Donald Windham Contributor
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Neil Bartlett Contributor
Gerry Albarelli Contributor
Allen Barnett Contributor
Paul Bailey Contributor
Peter Cameron Contributor
John Cheever Contributor
Sherwood Anderson Contributor
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E. M. Forster Contributor
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Bernard Cooper Contributor
Noël Coward Contributor
Ann Beattie Contributor
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Patrick Weston Contributor
Owen Wister Contributor
Bayard Taylor Contributor
Frederick Rolfe Contributor
Alan Dale Contributor
Henry James Contributor
John Cleland Contributor
Charlotte Charke Contributor
Kenneth Grahame Contributor
Willa Cather Contributor
Herman Melville Contributor
Ambrose Bierce Contributor
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Delfina Vezzoli Translator
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Fred Marcellino Cover artist
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½ 3.7

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